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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12182
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Scots Law Wills and Estates Our Mother died and left 3

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Scots Law
Wills and Estates
Our Mother died and left 3 wills. Two were written by her, one of them in her handwriting. The final will was written by our father and had just her signature on it, also making him executor. He wrote to banks to try to get them to release all funds before confirmation was granted, but none would. We contested the granting of confirmation, but there was nothing the court could do.
We let some time pass. See if he will do anything right.
Nothing. So we (children) have also not been given the offer of the % which falls due to scots' law.
Is there a time limit on the estate in terms of the % falling due to legal rights (if that's the term). And how is this processed given that we do not speak to our father and do not want to give addresses?
We have no money solicitor. We also left jobs and looked after our mother year.
Thank you question.
Each beneficiary has 20 years to claim legal rights. Your claim is made to the executor and if the claim is ignored a beneficiary would have to raise an action in the sheriff court calling on the executor to accounts pay out the legal rights fund.
Subject to financial circumstances legal aid would be available an action.
I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited time.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thanks, ***** ***** write to the last solicitor we know the executor used? we are not sure where the executor lives and we do not want any direct contact. Also, should he have not been responsible the beneficiaries? Is there a form where it asks if we want the legal rights or to sign the money over to him?

If the executor used a solicitor to wind up the estate, the solicitor should have been made aware of the family and should not have wound up the estate without dealing with the legal rights. The solicitor may not have done anything past the confirmation stage of course.
Yes, write to the solicitor, but it may be that you will have to deal directly with the executor if the solicitor was not involved.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

should he/must he (executor) have wound up the estate within a certain time?

No, there is no time limit to wind up an estate. An executor has to use best endeavours to wind the estate up in reasonable time but that is a very subjective test. I have wound up some estates in a matter of a couple of months but others can take years depending on the degree of difficulty, extent of the estate etc etc
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thanks. What is to stop him spending all the estate? He has retrieved all her money and the houses are in joint names. So what happens if her estate began as being worth 200,000 in joint savings, and joint property.

I suggest you get to a lawyer and get an order freezing the assets before he has a chance to spend them. Legal rights are automatic so you might get a solicitor to deal with this no win no fee. If not it's worth spending some money on.
JGM and other Scots Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thank you jcm. It was easy to do, he knew if he forced her to sign a will written by him (in hospital) it would be nearly impossible to take any action, costs and time and energy after losing our adored mother. I was surprised how easily he could get a piece of paper written by him validated, and know it is up to us to prove otherwise. ONe law fir, quoted 60k as a minimum, but their advice on some basic stuff was not even great, We have already thought of asking the nurse who witnessed it whether it was correctly observed, but sure it was. The thing wrong was the writing of the will by him and then the coerced signature. We have not spoken in 3 years.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

a further q.

we can't tell what was in the estate (we have a good idea from before our mother died - she also told us) and he is the executor. How do we find out and get any kind of declaration of what was in the estate?

If we wrote to his lawyer (last used, but we assume he's not used beyond at the confirmation hearing) could we ask that the lawyer discloses what was/is in the estate?

Our father would like to threaten us in regards ***** ***** of this,and has lied in the past, so it's impossible to ask him (and we don't want to give addresses)

Your remedy is to raise an action of the will on the ground of coercion but yes it is very expensive.
The extent of the estate should be shown in the estate inventory and you can get a copy of that from the court. The lawyer won't do it as your not his client but you can go to the court and ask copy. If it's not similar to what your mother advised you then you'll have to make more investigations.
Frankly there is another way here and that is family to arrive on his doorstep and confront him. Controversial and not a legal answer but from experience of clients I know it has worked !
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thanks. The compromises and conciliation would be our option normal person. However, he threatened and derogated our mother, and has threatened us in the past. He can be violent, and he relies on our fear to know he can do anything here. He had to have ownership of everything of of our mums. IN the will she wrote, she left things like rings to me, books and so on. All in his house now. Our grandparents stuff too.

If we went to court, I would probably like to be LIP, but I don't know if I have the stomach . So in many ways, he's won. He has everything, I have been looking after my younger (disabled) sister , and our mum's pension and books and everything are with him. She worked longer than him, and had been retired a year when she died. All this as he put her in fear (she made an appointment with a solicitor to try to draw up a will and he called and cancelled it, then waitied until her final days and took an A4 in with him).

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thanks, ***** ***** estate inventory different from the Will? there was no mention at the confirmation hearing. The sheriff said we should leave court that day and get legal help. But we had no means and we were very sick ourselves after many months of our mum and seeing his actions.

Should the executor produce an inventory, and again, is there a time limit? I had thought the executor had to do certain things. He's done nothing. He hates all lawyers as a rule, and is very bitter about them. so he tried to do everything underhand, e.g. wrote to the banks before confirmation given etc.

The estate inventory is contained in the application as given up by the executor to the court.
You should never have represented yourself at this type of hearing and should have sought legal advice. That you didn't do so is now a problem as identified in earlier posts. I suggest you now seek a formal consultation with a solicitor.